Your Serengeti Starter Pack

Off for a safari in the breathtaking Serengeti? Whether you’re going de luxe or having a budget breakaway, here’s a list of must-pack items you won’t want to do without.

1.Head torch

Didn’t we tell you there are no streetlights in the Serengeti? The wildlife doesn’t need them. But you’ll need some form of light when you’re striking camp in the pre-dawn, or finding your way back to your tent on one of those moonless black-as-pitch nights. Tanzania is a developing country so electricity isn’t always reliable. Trust us when we say you will enjoy a trip to the washroom a lot more with a head torch.

2. Binoculars

Serengeti means “endless plains” in Maa (the language of the Maasai) and for good reason.You’ll have far horizons on all sides and what better than to shin up your vehicle with a pair of binoculars to check out the shy animals that won’t let you get near them physically. Get the best quality – and lightest – that you can.

3. Warm clothes

When the sun sets on the Serengeti, it’s jumper time. It can get pretty cold at night so don’t forget warm, weatherproof layers. Being cold at night is the worst – and there are only so many people you can squeeze into a sleeping bag with you. You want your safari experience to be memorable for the right reasons, and remembering how you cried yourself to sleep at night because you were cold is not one of the right reasons.

4. Games

After you’ve had your evening meal at a Serengeti campsite, it’s time for a night of clubbing and bar hopping. Not. We’ve got to be honest - there is not much going on after dinner at a Serengeti campsite. Of course you’ll chat with your fellow adventurers about the day’s adventures, and with your guides about life in general; that’s a given. You’ll gaze at the stars and enjoy how life is taking on a new, slower rhythm. But there’s always room for a game. Of course you’ll play, “What was that sound and is it getting nearer?” which is a fun game in lion territory, but a pack of cards is an easy thing to carry and a source of fun. Plus it’s a good way to bond with everyone.

5. A good camera

The Serengeti has all the colour and pizzazz of a Broadway show so you’re going to need a decent camera to capture the sights. You don’t need to invest your life savings into an SLR camera a professional photographer would drool over. There are plenty of good compact cameras on the market. Just make sure they have a decent digital and optical zoom and good resolution. And talking of cameras....

6. A 16 or 32 GB SD card

There’s lots to see so it’s easy to jam pack a four or eight GB SD card with data. To save you the grief of destroying your oh-so-beautifully posed images or the one with the baby elephant looking so cute you could almost burst, make sure you pack either two or three SD cards or one with a lot of space.

7. Toilet paper

The facilities at the Serengeti campsites can get busy so pack a spare roll of toilet paper to save you frustration later. Need we say more?

8. Snacks

You won’t starve in the Serengeti but your game drives might take up to six hours or more. Sometimes you’ll stop for lunch, but just in case you don’t, stop that tummy rumbling with some cookies or crackers.

9. Travel pillow

Oh, sweet sleep! When you’re on the go, you need to protect your sleep or you’ll be a really grumpy fellow traveller. Besides a sleeping bag, a small travel pillow can really help you have a good nights’ sleep. Try an inflatable one – they’re comfy and won’t take up much room in your backpack if you remember to deflate it first. Duh!

10. Sunglasses and sunhat

Sunglasses aren’t just for looking cool. If you really want to be Squinty McSquintface of the Serengeti then, by all means, forget to pack them. But the sun is so strong and bright that it’ll be uncomfortable for you. Grab those sunnies! And don’t forget a sunhat – midday sun streaming through an open roof is no joke!

These are the Top 10 items for your Serengeti Starter Pack, so get going, round ‘em up and have a super Serengeti safari!